Young: Crisis plan for African swine fever


Cyndi Young-Puyear, Brownfield Network

via Agrinews (IL) - Apr 10, 2019


“The Year of the Pig” in China took on an entirely different meaning in 2019 than most people in the country that finds culinary use for everything except the “oink” would prefer. In early August of last year, African swine fever was confirmed in a northeastern city in China.


We’ve heard a lot of numbers bandied about, but even the most conservative estimates are huge. Since this highly contagious and fatal pig disease was confirmed in Shenyang, the number of outbreaks and the toll taken on the pig population in China is enormous.


According to most recent information from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, 114 ASF outbreaks were detected in 28 provinces, regions or municipalities in China. Around 1 million pigs have been culled.


The first report of ASF in Mongolia came in mid-January. Since then, 11 outbreaks in six provinces have been reported.


More than 90 farms or households have been involved. More than 3,115 pigs have died or been destroyed due to the ASF outbreaks.


Vietnam reported its first outbreak of ASF in February. Since then, 556 outbreaks were reported in 23 provinces or cities and more than 89,600 pigs have been culled.


It is important to remember that ASF does not affect humans and, therefore, is not a public health threat. It is a disease of pigs only, so is not a threat to pets or any other livestock. It is a huge threat to pigs in this country.


In response to the current situation in China and other countries, the National Pork Board is working closely with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center to monitor the situation and collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Together, they are working to gather intelligence, engage subject matter experts, assess risk and determine appropriate actions moving forward to address the issue.


For years, livestock organizations have worked together on foreign animal disease preparedness. They have spent countless hours with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.


They’ve held — and continue to hold — emergency training drills across the country to help farmers and state officials identify biosecurity risk areas and educate them on steps to take in case a foreign animal disease is introduced in the United States...